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Katsaridaphobia: A Definition & Fear Of Cockroaches

Updated on August 31, 2011
zen rocks..
zen rocks.. | Source

Katsaridaphobia. A long, almost unpronounceable word whose meaning fills some (including me) with fear and dread. The fear of cockroaches.

The reason for writing this hub is not under the best circumstances.. it's 1am on a now Sunday morning and in 6 hours I should be awake to attend Sunday mass. Instead, I'm wide awake and shaking. I even feel like crying.

Let's go back to the beginning.. Since Tuesday my town, Gisborne, located on the eastern coast of the North Island, has been suffering (and yes it IS suffering) from extremely hot conditions.. Temperatures soar well into the 30s and quite frankly, I'd like to live in my freezer! Anyway, it was 12:40am and so hot that if you happened to spit on the ground, you could even watch it fizzle. Now I'm lying half asleep on top of my bed and suddenly this thing moves on my foot. In a daze, I whack it off of my foot and onto the ground. Then I decide to see what I hit. As I switched on the light, I had to suppress my screaming.

There on the floor, running around like a chicken with no head, was this huge, disgusting cockroach!! My first instinct was to scream. Naturally. Since moving to New Zealand, the only thing more terrifying than the white tailed spiders is the size of their cockroaches.

And so, after staring for perhaps ten seconds (and by now this 'roach disappeared into a corner of my room by the bookshelf), I tailgated out of my room and into the kitchen in search of bug spray. Nothing. Sighing, I went into the passage and there stood my lifeline on the table. I picked it up and jumped onto my bed.

And so the disgusting thing came back into view and that's when I gave it my all, blasting it with spray.. I think the can is pretty empty now but I still didn't feel better. I still wanted to cry over this thing invading my privacy. Normally I have a rock that I call Zen that keeps my door open. Zen is a pretty oval rock and rather heavy. So I picked Zen up and thud , it landed on the vile 'roach.

As it stands right now, it's 1:13am and I don't even want to lift Zen up and take a peek. In fact, I'm not even contemplating going back to bed. This incident has me so freaked out that sleep is the furthest thing from my mind and lately, I haven't gotten much of it in this heat.

Now, about cockroaches.. they love warm places, moist places and places where it's dark. The ironic part about this is the roach that's here is the name of my town, Gisborne. Enough to make me laugh if I didn't just encounter the thing. They want places close to food and water too. They can survive in the most extreme of weather (which is why they want my room; it's like an oven in this heat) and can withstand more than 2000 times the amount of radiation than humans and yet they adapt to conditions easily. As my friend would say they're bakas (idiots).

A female roach produces 3 or 4 egg capsules which contain about 30 eggs in her lifetime. Eew. So they're going to outlive us. Freaks.. By now I'm sure my audience can see my dislike for these creatures.They come from the family Blatella germanica which means "The Ultimate Survivor". Sigh, I mean they even look like their ancestors.

Apparently one of the only ways to overcome the phobia of cockroaches is by exposure. You'd be shown cockroaches which simulate the fear and anxiety ( all you have to do is show me a baby now and I'll run to the hills screaming) and exposure lasts until the anxiety and fear decreases. Now personally, that's torture. And cruel. And evil. But if it works, good luck to those who try it!


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      Arnel1925 2 years ago

      Why that creature exists? almost dying when I see that creature

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      AMC 3 years ago

      Ive had this phobia since i was a little girl. Dead or alive i am scared to death of these things. Just the thought of a roach scares me, and saying it, even a single picture makes me wanna scream. Just last night my boyfriend says babe look and starts pointing at one walking across our floor i immediately jumped up and ran to another room panicking and i started screaming telling him to kill it now. He knows im deathly afriad of them so he decides to pick it up with a paper towel and run after me with the dead roach cornering me i curled up in a ball and was crying and screaming bloody murder. Like literally so loud that you'd think our neighbors would call the cops it sounded like someone tried killing me. I swear our whole apartment building heard me!! I cannot stand those nasty things!!! Im like the cleanest woman ever so FYI being clean doesn't always help. They will find a way.. Oh and the real name is blatodephobia- fear of them nasty mother fuckers!!!

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      Jamil 3 years ago

      I had phobia for dog and I got over it

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      James Abuda 3 years ago

      I don't know If I also have that Katsaridaphobia, but I really hate cockroaches! I feel that they are the dirtiest thing living in this world!.

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      Issy 3 years ago

      There is one in my kitchen right now and I can't go to sleep thinking it might crawl to my room. My boyfriend wont take it out he says I have to get over it :/

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      Susan 4 years ago

      Wow.... here is was thinking i was the only one in this world so petrified of cockroaches.. I mean don't get me wrong, i know most girls are afraid of them to some degree, but they will squeal and then kill it.... I on the other hand have had an irrational fear of them since i can remember, and it all stemmed from my mum :( It is spring now in Australia, and in the past week there have 2 Massive winged ones on my wall.. for some reason if the cockroach is above me i freak out even more then if it were on the ground.. Once i spot the roach, my hear starts to race, i feel shakey and lightheaded and very very panicky... My worst fear is that if i spray them while they are above me it will fly and land on me, and honestly i think i would faint.. It is really embarrassing being afraid of the horrible freaky discusting things... But it's sure nice to know i;m not the only one..

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      alka 4 years ago

      I am from india , I can totally relate to what you say.....I'm sick of this nasty creature and everytime I see it I feel like my entire body is getting paralysed.....I don't even have the spunk to kill it or spray at it,,,infact my heartbeats varies immensely whenever I encounter them...I have no idea how am I gonna survive out of this fear and is rally looking forward to a world without cockroaches( juz dreaming,though I know it wouldn't happen :( )......

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      Claire 4 years ago

      Spring here in Australia. I've had to witness a cockroach in my room twice in the past couple of weeks. I'll get up in the morning to find them on their backs, still alive. Both times I called for my mum and made her kill them whilst I stood there and cried. I've been living in constant fear since. I removed any remnants of food, took out the rubbish from in the bin and rapidly sprayed the entire room but I still worry that they will come out at night and crawl all over me. I had to kill a baby today in the kitchen (the second baby I've seen this week), which means that our house is dealing with an infestation. I've been trying to get my mum to purchase borax/ANY roach-killing product. I'm desperate. I wouldn't care so much if they didn't come near me or into my room. The fear only escalates with every exposure. I'm only 15. I'm hoping this fear will eventually subside, but for now I'm going to just try my best to avoid them.

      P.S. That photo really made my skin crawl. Sheesh.

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      Caroline 4 years ago

      It's nice to know that other people are just as afraid of cockroaches as I am. I don't exactly remember when it began for me, but I know it's been a while. In Florida you can't do much about it...after it rains they will just come into your house. And they glorify them here by calling them "palmetto bugs" like oh please. One time I was folding towels on the couch when all of a sudden my foot started to itch. I looked down- about to scratch it -when I realized a cockroach had crawled out from under the couch and on my foot. (I was barefoot too!) I screamed and jumped up in the air while it started crawling around some more. See, I can kill a cockroach on occasion, but I can't leave the room once I see one because it will just crawl back into hiding...and I can't stand thinking that it's alive and lurking in my house. It sort of impairs me because then I can't leave to grab something to kill it with. Usually I'll use air freshener and an old magazine if it's available. Multiple times they've come into the bathroom while I'm there too. Also I've seen one on the wall once, and another time one went into the air vent. I don't cry because of them, but I get paranoid...every time I have an itch or use peripheral vision I think it's a cockroach. When I enter a room, I quickly scan the room to be sure it's roach-free. And I have to leap onto the couch from far away because I'm afraid they'll crawl out toward me as I sit down. Three hours after an encounter I'll still walk on tiptoes. And every encounter I have with those disgusting cockroaches, I'm home alone or my whole family is asleep. When people hear me screaming, they literally think someone broke into our house. Then they'll learn it was a cockroach, say I was overreacting, and tell me to "go to sleep." But it's impossible, I'll be up for hours scared silly. I'm not this afraid of anything- not even snakes or spiders or dying. It's such an irrational fear but I know I will never get over it because I refuse to do exposure therapy. This fear of cockroaches really takes over your life.

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      Derpity Derp 4 years ago

      Once I was taking a shower and after about a minute, I noticed something behind my shower caddy. So I took a closer look and realized it was a cockroach! I ran out of my shower with shampoo still in my hair and tried killing it with a plunger but lost it in my shower curtain. After about an hour, I decided to try to finish my shower. Needless to say I was in and out in about 20 seconds. I'm so afraid of roaches that it's almost unhealthy... Haha

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      Alexandra 4 years ago

      It is really nice to see that I am not the only one suffering by this.

      I live in Greece, so it gets really hot in the summer. So I can't actually avoid coackroaches since they actually fly in the house from the windows. It is so frustrating because I can't help it but open them since I will boil in my own sweat if I don't.And they keep coming in. And I scream and I'm unable to do anything, I freeze or I run to the room that is furthest from the one that the coackroach is in. I don't even know why I'm scared of them. They are not dangerous and they can't harm me in any way. But it's just the way they look, and move, I simply can't stand them. But no one else seems to be so scared of them, people never like them but they don't shiver and scream if they see one. I always thought it was alone, it was so relieving to know that other people are scared of them too.

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      Fadi 4 years ago

      Reading all these stories were relieving for me, at least I dont have panic attacks hehe. but I'm a guy and have a real ongoing paranoia of them, especially when one of them appears lately, keeps me paranoid for weeks. And I can't look at them too :\ when I kill one of them, I would wait for someone to visit me and make him throw it away. even if that took days. totally shameful but what can I do..

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      hala 5 years ago

      I cannot tell you have funny these stories! This stupid phobia ia unbelievably crippling especially when you don't know when one is coming. I like mmy peace of mind so I'm currently working on fixing it. I have a phobia of nearly every damn insect but it's worth battling through it only because there's no hope of them going extinct. In a demented way it's really nice to know I'm not the only one going through the paranoia, the sobbing, and the sleepless nights.

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      lillith 5 years ago

      The picture was enough to scare me... I understand you feelings. My folks don't take it serious, they think it is something I can "grow out" of. It takes me at least 5-10minutes to attempt to kill one (My weapon of choice is a broom and long range spray can), especially when it is in sight. It takes me an hour to ponder how I am going to dispose of it after it is dead. After that I go in complete paranoia mode thinking they are all watching me in all the crevices of my house. Amanda, I know exactly what you are talking about. I check my bathroom before I even enter it, considering I don't walk into any of the rooms of my house without the lights on.

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      gracetabithalim 5 years ago

      I so totally emphatize with anyone who has a fear of cockroaches. I'm an entomologist and have dissected cockroaches, even had them as pets, but I'm still scared of them! What can I say, phobias are irrational. I've some solid tips on how to ease your fear of cockroaches

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      monica 5 years ago

      just saw one at a bar earlier.

      NEVER going back, obviously.

      it bothered me so much that i had a nightmare about them, and i've been crying for a good hour, wide awake at 5:30am...

      and i scratch and scratch, just thinking of those long antennae... YUCK!!

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Senoritaa 5 years ago

      I am reading this as I sit alone this night in my apartment in front of one that I just killed with half a can of spray. It is of immense help to read everyone's experience that I can completely relate to. I mean, every time I see one, I cry uncontrollably, while spraying on it because I have to kill it. No one around to do it for me. And then I sit staring at the body for half an hour. They don't even die fast!!! Finally after an hour I guess I will have the courage to dispose off the body. Only when I am about to pick it up with a broom, I will suddenly notice a leg or an antenna moving :'(

      There is no way out for us, it is miserable. We have to live with this fear, and die with it!

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      Amanda Ciriza 5 years ago

      I just found one already dead in my room and no one was home to pick it up. I had to wait for my grandma to come home and get it. I seriously have panic attacks everytime. I get shortness of breath, all sweaty, and freak out. I wish I could overcome this.

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      Jacque Nelson 5 years ago

      Jose Eduardo, you're right! This feels like a little support group and I am so thankful! I just had a panic attack from seeing one. I was on the couch and I saw a good sized one on the arm rest next to me. I jumped up screaming and crying. My grandma held my while I cried for a few while my grandpa killed the ugly fucker. I am 18, and tonight I'm sleeping in their bed because I'm afraid of a damn bug. I've had this phobia for a while. Back in elementary I touched the huge hissing ones before! Then something changed, and ever since I can't stand the damned things. I was crying and shaking over an hour after it happened. Stupid little fuckers. Did you know there is also NO difference between Roaches and Water bugs?? Waterbugs ARE a type of cockroach. Bitch bugs I tell you!

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      Jackie 5 years ago

      I'm pretty sure I have the phobia. Ever since I can remember (I'm only 16) I've hated roaches. Any size. I think it's because when I was about 6, I was at my aunt's house when a giant one with wings was on the curtain!! I screamed so loud and called her over. When she tried to kill it, it flew so close to my face. That was the worst day ever. Now, I have to look around a room every time I enter one. I can kill some but they have to be smaller than my pinky nail. Any size though will pretty much give me a panic attack. :/ I just hate those nasty bugs.

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      Kate 5 years ago

      I find them in my dorm sometimes-naturally I found so many more than everyone else (it inspired very thorough cleaning) but it has gotten so bad that, on a good day if i don't get it on the first try I will go find someone else to kill it for me because i start shaking so bad. One jumped out at me from the shower drain and it was huge, I couldn't bring myself to shower after sundown for weeks and am still extremely cautious. It is ridiculous, the bugs don't bite or sting, all they do is look ugly but I couldn't even finish reading Metamorphosis in high school

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      Qatar 5 years ago

      I just saw three big freakin roaches with their wings and hairs .. they are the ugliest creature ever ..

      my family call me the " bug lover " because i love bugs and i collect them no problems .. i even had scorpions in a tank in my room

      but god ! roachs just make me scared like nothing else

      i hate everything about them .. their speed

      their wings, colors, legs, scary shapes on their tops

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      Mariel 5 years ago

      I have always been pretty sure that I've had this phobia but the way others are describing it, I am positive. When I see walking cockroaches, live ones, no matter what I freeze up and depending on the situation or how close they are, I cry. I've had about 4 complete panic attacks from them and I just experienced it. I'm just sitting on my bed and one crawls from under it!!!! I froze and could hardly keep my hand steady enough to call my sister a few rooms over to kill it and as soon as I hung up, I started shaking and crying uncontrolably. But I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Even after she killed it and flushed it, it took me 5 minutes to stop shaking and crying. And I've also used an entire canister of bug spray once. I drowned the fucker and put a bowel over it. That was the only roach I've ever been able to kill though...

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      Nikia 5 years ago

      I am shacking right now, something has to give.

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      José Eduardo 6 years ago

      Thank you for this post. It's 4AM where I live (southern Brazil) and I've been up for the last two hours because of an incident, a single cockroach in my room, something which hasn't happened in 4 years as far as I know. It's been good to read the comments too, kind of like a little support group. I suffer from an intense fear of cockroaches since I was little, and it's very humiliating, especially if you're a man. I mean, once I had to ask my sister-in-law to kill one of these damn things, it's really embarassing. I just used half a canister of inseticide to kill a single cockroach, after jumping in my bed, throwing 4 or 5 shoes on it, keeping myself from screaming, feeling my heart pound... I'm really grateful for having very few incidents like these as my apartment is usually very clean (last one was 1 year ago give or take). But still, it's summer, and here summer is very hot and damp, so I'm never completely relaxed. Wish I could do something about it, but exposure therapy must be torture.

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      Spartan Warrior 6 years ago

      I am a guy...a Spartan Warrior...i could take on and down men by the hundreds...or at least that what i imagined myself to be...but somehow i would go numb when near these things...i mean i did try to overcome it...there was even a point in time whereby i dared to,whenever i see it,catch a live one with my hand before throwing it out of the window;i live in a high-rise...but now even when on the rare occasion that i would see one,i would just freeze and feel my heart pumping and just simply trepidation...its my krytonite

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      InMyDrink 6 years ago

      I'm not sure if this is what I have, but I'll be damned if it's anything else. It's 4:35am where I live and I just woke up my husband because there was a cockroach on the wall and I got weak in the knees. I got the courage to get on the bed and spray the wall, but when it fell I started shaking and crying and curled up into a ball by our dresser. It's not the first time something like this has happened either. After lending my car to a friend for about a week, I got it back infested with these things (he lives out in the middle of trees and dark, damp nature). One day I was driving around doing errands and spotted on my sleeve - I screamed and swerved and turned into a gas station. Once I turned off the car, I looked for bugger and killed it. Again, once I saw the dead thing I screamed, and shook, had a fit and started to cry. After breathing heavily for a while, I got out of the car and went into the gas station to buy roach spray. Sprayed the whole damn car, which was a bad idea because I couldn't get back in for a whole five minutes... Anywho, I'm glad I'm not the only one out there dealing with this stuff - I always just thought I was being childish and immature... At least, that's what people tell me.

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      Amanda 6 years ago

      believe me... i know EXACTLY how you feel! i have the same exact phobia. like once i was in my bathroom at my grandmas house and i was brushing my hair. i turned around and saw a big roach on the wall by me! i ran out the bathroom yelling and cursing and told my grandma to go kill it. i didn't not go back into that bathroom for about 2 months. when i started going back inside it... at first i would make my grandma go in it first and look around and check it out really good before going into it. i used the other bathroom for the 2 months. my fear of roaches all started when i was about 5 years old. i was laying on the sofa with my mom. we were watching tv when all of a sudden i looked at my shirt and saw it moving. i lifted my shirt to find a little roach on my stomach. screaming, my mom knocked it off me. my dad would always pick on me about it. when he would see one, he would grab my foot and try to make me step on it and i would scream. now, of course, they take it seriously. i am to the point that i CANNOT even kill them. my mom, dad, or grandma has to do it and flush it in the toilet or throw it outside. i cannot even look at it... even dead.

      so my point is... you are sure not alone on this fear!!!(:

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      Katharella 6 years ago from Lost in America

      After leaving the comment upon following you, I'm so sorry to have laughed! Ok, I've lived in the south for awhile, and in Texas for awhile too. Yes these little critters can be quite the lil' boogers if you're afraid of them. I guess it's a good thing I'm not, but still I can help you keep them at bay and OUTSIDE your house! Even if you have air conditioning, they seem to like that too, so the best thing to do is, even if you don't feel like it, keep your house as clean as you possibly can! If you keep a trash in your kitchen, make it a small one that has to be emptied EVERY NIGHT.. and bathroom! Keep it smelling fresh and clean and use clorox to clean your floors. Also you can look for those spray bug bombs that you set off inside your house, stay gone for at LEAST 2 hours, and make sure you've taken any pets out with you, don't leave your cat or dog inside it will kill them. But put a piece of paper on the floor, making sure you have secured ALL windows turned off any air flow and put a towel or sheet over your bed. Open your cupboard doors and put a paper towel on the top plate and you should always keep your glasses and other cookware upside down if not, cover them with a paper towel. Lock either your front or back( depending where you're leaving from) and in the center of your house set the can down and cover your mouth/nose with a paper towel and make sure it doesn't tip over but head for the other door and go out locking it behind you. Make sure you stay gone 2 full hours. If you do this once a month, no matter how warm or damp it seems to get, they should not bother you. Remember you always have colder months to look forward to! :) Always keep everything clean as you can, and it might sound strange, but you can spray with your ordinary spray can in corners and under the sinks and around your laundry area, and UNDER YOUR FRIDGE. Those are the places they are most likely to like being (cold and damp as you know)

      I hope this helps, sorry it was long, but after living in the cold of the north and not realizing this for the past 20 years I've been in the south I've learned the hard way. And it is true, they can withstand a lot, but not if you are tenacious about keeping clean and don't worry about having to wash everything after a "bug bombing" just toss out the paper towels and everything will be fine! Keep under your fridge and stove clean as well! Good luck! :)

      I'll keep to myself what I do you'll cringe more! :) I don't have the fear anymore! Again Good luck! -K

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      Kags 6 years ago

      Nooooo no no no. I almost cried from seeing the picture on top. I have this Kat-sa-ri-da-phobia. And currently (I hate Spring so much) our house is completely infested. And by that I mean that in one day alone there was a total of thirteen in my room. Then I moved to the couch. They were in the living room, too. I slept on the chairs in my kitchen. They were THERE too. So now I 'sleep' in my office chair. They make me want to cry.

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      CiscoPixie 7 years ago from I'm in a world of my own, but aren't we all?

      I think there are so many phobias out there it's .. excuse the pun.. scary :/

      Thanks for the comment Pente!

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      Pente 7 years ago from Planet Earth

      I love the names of some of the strange phobias. I use to play a game called "call of cthulhu" and my character was afflicted with lepidophobia - the fear of butterflies. I really got into acting the part and would make up these weird stories on how butterflies were actually dormant monsters and evil spirits.